Most of the desk setup videos on YouTube feature a large desk with multiple monitors, gaming chairs, LED lights and various other things that aren't relevant for a lot of people. What if you are living with family, roommates, or a partner? Everyone is trying to work in the same room and even if you want to improve your home office situation, it seems like you need to have a large budget to do so.
This is why I transformed my personal desk into a dual desk setup where my wife can also work. Her side of the setup is also very budget friendly, albeit very functional. If you want a visual walkthrough, check out the video that we made:
The standing desk and ergonomic chairs
Both the office desk and chairs are from a company called Autonomous (referral link for discounts). I bought the SmartDesk 2 XL and ErgoChair 2 a few years ago, but for the longest time I regretted buying the XL model of the desk. It was simply too big for a single person, and was especially annoying when I was moving apartments. Thankfully, we are now using this desk for two people and it works well.
Personally, I really wanted a motorized standing desk so the ones from Autonomous are hard to beat in price. It's nice to be able to work while standing up sometimes, but if your needs are different then there are definitely cheaper desks out there.
As far as the chair goes, it's probably the best investment you can make to working from home. I was initially looking at some cheaper options for Tanya, but she told me that my chair provided the best comfort and back support. So if you're working for many hours each day, I definitely recommend the ErgoChair 2.
I wanted to make sure that everything worked together seamlessly. No matter if Tanya used her corporate Windows laptop (which is heavily locked down) or her personal MacBook Pro, the desk setup should allow her to work without issues.
The monitor is a BenQ 27 Inch and is just a really solid monitor for the price tag. The main reason that I got it is because I already have a BenQ monitor myself and have had a great experience with it. It has multiple ports, built-in cable management, helpful eye fatigue features, and a minimal design.
Keyboard & Mouse
I opted for the Macally Wired Keyboard and Macally Wired Mouse because the keys are quiet and the mouse is smooth while scrolling. I wasn't expecting much at this price, but was really quite impressed from both a function and design perspective.
The reason that I went with a wired setup here is to avoid issues with Bluetooth, especially since Tanya's work laptop would not allow for any Bluetooth accessories.
Another addition was the Satechi Leather Desk Mat which provides grouping and prevents the keyboard from sliding around the desk. A leather desk mat really helps with the comfort and the visual aesthetic of your setup as well.
Tanya needed something for meetings so I got her the Sony XZ Headset with Mic. It was the best reviewed headset that I found at this price, and it won't provide the best sound quality but definitely does the job when it comes to Zoom calls.
I also paired it with the Avantree Headphone Stand to help keep the headphones in one place and on display when not used. It works, but I was disappointed of the quality as the stand feels too cheap due to the removable silicone base.
A nice addition to any setup is a wireless charging stand. It keeps your phone charged and doubles as a stand for when you want to watch TikToks during work.
I already have a set of the Yootech Wireless Charger in our bedroom so I added another one to Tanya's setup as well.
You can't forget about connecting everything together. I was able to get some really nice braided cables from ivanky which look good and feel durable.
My setup (non-budget)
I built my setup over time, so I didn't really have a set budget. I recommend taking a look at each piece of gear and deciding if the upgrade may be worth it for you.
My monitor is a BenQ 32 Inch 4K. I used to go back and forth between dual monitors and an ultrawide monitor until deciding that a single standard resolution monitor gets the job done. It's versatile, reliable, and blends right in to the setup.
Keyboard & Mouse
I use the Logitech MX Keys and Logitech MX Master which both work well. My favorite feature is being able to switch connections between my work or personal MacBook Pros, although there are occasional connectivity issues. The keyboard has a really satisfying feel to type on and the mouse's extra buttons also come in handy.
I have the Bowers & Wilkins PX which are a set of noise canceling headphones. While they are already three years old, they still work well. My only complaint about them is that they can get uncomfortable after long wearing sessions.
If I was to upgrade, I would get either the Bose QC 700 or the Sony WH-1000XM4. They're both industry leaders in noise cancellation, and my dad still loves the Bose QC 700 that he recently got for Father's Day. A good investment for quarantine!
I added the Yootech Wireless Charger to my setup as well and allows me to occassionally check up on stocks or important messages.
The Logitech C922x is my webcam of choice and I use it for Zoom calls and video tutorials. I constantly get questions and compliments for it, plus it seems that the pandemic has created a high demand for it so I suggest picking one up soon.
I hope this list was useful to inspire your own setup. Remember that desk setups are not a one size fits all, so figure out what is important to you and get creative.